The Portuguese in India
The Portuguese were the first European imperial power in Asia. Dr Pearson's volume of their history is a clear account of their activities in India and the Indian Ocean from the sixteenth century onwards written squarely from an Indian point of view. Laying particular stress on social, economic and religious interaction between Portuguese and Indians, the author argues that the Portuguese in fact had a more limited impact on everyday life in India than is sometimes supposed. Their imperial effort was characterized throughout more by reciprocity and interaction than by any unilateral imposition of Portuguese mores and political structures. The book as a whole has a significance well beyond its ostensible subject since it illuminates a whole range of more general historical themes including religious conversion, race relations, the nature of pre-modern society and early colonialism, and the very beginnings of the world economy.